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Full text of "Charles H. Woodbury's Etchings"

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CHARLES H. WOODBURY 



CHARLES H. WOODBURY'S ETCHINGS 



MR. CHARLES H. WOODBURY is 
much better known as a painter 
than as an etcher and many that are 
familiar with his paintings will be surprised 
to learn that he does etch, but those who 
have had the privilege of examining his 
etchings either in his studio or in the Print 
Division of the Library of Congress, where 
a comprehensive group of them has recently 
been exhibited, know that he is to be 
numbered among the foremost etchers of 
our time if not of all time. 

In the exhibition at the Library of 
Congress there were fifty-six prints, the 
majority of which were made at Ogunquit, 
Maine, where the artist spends the greater 
part of the year, and at which place in 
summer he conducts a school of outdoor 
painting. 

The sea and mountains have for some 
years been Mr. Woodbury's favorite 
themes. There is a kinship between these 
two great manifestations of nature both 
in sense of vastness and strength, and this 
Mr. Woodbury has felt very keenly and 
interpreted in his paintings. It is this 



same feeling which is to be found in his 
etchings and even in a more impressive 
form. An etching always seems to be 
the essence of things felt but unsaid, and 
thus these etchings of Mr. Woodbury's 
are really eloquent. He pictures the 
stern rock-bound coast of Maine with a 
few lines and gives an adequate impression 
of its bold grandeur; with a few more lines 
he brings before our vision the open sea 
and awakens the same sensibility that the 
limitless, restless waves themselves may 
have stirred; he gives a picture of the 
mountain tops, and the observer is bound 
to comprehend their lofty stateliness; or 
he presents a scene on the beach, and in- 
stantly one is transported to the gayest 
center of an American summer resort. 

And what is most interesting is that all 
this is accomplished with rather rugged 
lines and almost rude simplicity. This is 
something more than skill; it is mastery 
and of a kind which is rare. Here is a 
man with the artist's vision who has 
something to say and knows how to say it. 
His way is his own and his message is very 




CHARLES H. WOODBURY 




MAINE COAST 



CHARLES H. WOODBURY 




NORTHWEST WIND 



CHARLES H. WOODBURY 




CHARLES H. WOODBURY 




THE IJATH HOUR 



CHARLES H. WOODBURY 



228 



THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE OF ART 



worth while. This is modern art, and art 
which is essentially American; it is vital, 
forceful and sincere. In one of these 
etchings no larger than a man's hand there 
is as much as in a painting many feet in 
dimensions — ^indeed, much more than in 
most paintings. 

• Mr. Woodbury was born in Lynn, Mass., 
in 1864, and studied first at the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology and then 
in Paris. He has received numerous medals 



of honor, among the latest of which was 
a gold medal for oil paintings and a medal 
of honor for water colors at the Panama- 
Pacific Exposition. 

Through the courtesy of Mr. Woodbury 
we are able to reproduce herewith several 
examples of his etchings from which our 
readers will be able to derive a much 
better understanding of their interest and 
value than could be given in words no 
matter how well chosen. L. M. 



A UNIQUE TEXTILE EXHIBIT 

In Newark, New Jersey 



BUT a few short months ago to say, 
on any educational subject, "Thus 
they do in Germany," was to gain respect- 
ful and interested attention. Nowadays, 
among a considerable class of excited 
citizens, the response appears to be, "Then 
thus we will not do." Our problem is, 
evidently, to emulate Germany's virtues 
and avoid her faults — which, after all, is 
but one variety of a problem universal. 

In Germany, in days of peace, they know 
the one industry exhibit, and they have 
tested its value. John Cotton Dana, of 
Newark, N. J., has followed with wise 
emulation. The Newark Museum, at 
present ensconced under the Free Public 
Library tent, and bidding fair like the 
proverbial camel to crowd the owners out, 
displayed during February and the first 
half of Marchi its second annual, one in- 
dustry, one state exhibit. Last year it was 
pottery — "The Clay Products of New 
Jersey." This year it was fibres and all 
that is made thereof — "The Textiles of 
New Jersey." The exhibit of 1915 was 
most beautiful; the exhibit of 1916 was 
more beautiful, if a comparative can be 
built on a surperlative. 

Down the middle of the great room, on 
the fourth floor, built originally for an 
auditorium, but transferred from the 
ministry of hearing to that of sight, ran a 
raised platform, where sat rival spinners 
and weavers — a Greek woman, spinning 
as did Penelope's maidens, with crude 
distaff and spindle, and the modern counter- 



part of a Colonial dame with treadle and 
flyer, an upright and a horizontal loom, 
with reeds a-clanking as the shuttles flew. 

The whole history of fibre preparation 
was told in four great cases, by picture, 
diagram, map and specimen. The cotton 
plant bore bloom and boll at once; the 
Egyptian camel plowed up the overflow of 
the Nile; the Southern mammy fetched 
in baskets the product of her day's picking; 
the bale was pressed, sliver and rove were 
carded, and the factory turned out its 
finished thread for warp, or filling. Next 
came the story of the flax. Classes of 
school children from New York or Arling- 
ton, the Oranges, or from Newark itself, 
gazed at the stately seed-crowned plant, 
timidly felt the rough points of the comb 
on which it was hackled, compared the 
blond tresses of some Swedish or Dutch 
classmate with the hanging flax or tow, 
and drew their own comparisons between 
the discipline of the breaking machine and 
of human life. The wool case showed the 
steps by which the merino sheep makes his 
contribution to the comfort of mankind, 
and the case of cocoons told how the moth 
yields its life that we may walk in silk 
attire. 

One end of the room was splendid with 
Jersey-made aniline dyes, and there the 
visitor learned why Oriental rugs, though 
old, retain their charm, and why our silk 
merchants mourn the loss of German trade. 

Around the room were shimmering speci- 
mens of the best of New Jersey textiles.